VIN – what is it and why do we need it?

gray car on road over sunny day

In 1907, a well-known to all Henry Ford, launched in Detroit the world’s first mass series production of the T Model. In each subsequent year, the number of cars produced increased steadily, and the price fell. After nineteen years of production, the counter of the manufactured vehicles stopped at 15 million. Certainly, at that time the figure made a great impression, but it was still a drop in the ocean of the automobiles. According to the estimates, in 2010 the number of cars in the world exceeded one billion copies for the first time. What became essential was introducing the standardization of the vehicles classification.

VIN for each car
Just as every citizen has a social security number, such each manufactured car receives its own individual number – VIN. It is the abbreviation for vehicle identification number, which is the number identifying a vehicle. The number is assigned by the manufacturer. With it, it is possible to define the vehicle manufacturer, body type, model, engine, gearbox, as well as the production number. VIN consists of 17 letters and numbers divided into three segments:

  • WMI – the first three characters of code allowing to identify the region of origin of the vehicle and its manufacturer
  • VDS – the next six characters in this segment define the structure of the car, body type, type and variety of the engine and drivetrain
  • VIS – the last eight characters that determine the specific characteristics of a particular copy of the vehicle

Where can I find the VIN?
Depending on the make of the vehicle, VIN can be located in several places of the body, engine compartment, on the floor of the cabin in the vicinity of the front right seat and the trunk floor to the right. This is the number which we should pay attention to when buying a used car. This number should be consistent with what has been entered into the registration certificate of the vehicle. Thanks to it, we can easily detect that the vehicle is made up of several other cars. If you notice any discrepancies, you should cancel the purchase, otherwise you might face many negative consequences.
With the VIN you can also double check the entire history of the vehicle. Because this is a unique number for each car, each country created a database, which collects detailed information. Using these, you can determine how many accidents the car has been involved in, what is its mileage, what is the number of the service calls and most importantly – to check if the car is stolen. If you buy a second-hand car, the verification of the VIN should be a must for you.